Most websites could be better.
Not just a little better -- significantly better. The question is does your website have room for improvement?
A great website should always be working -- capturing leads and generating profound sales for your business while you sleep. It could be the best salesperson you ever hired. But you already know that. What you don't know is how to reach that level of success (and maintain it once you're there).
Here are five elements every lead-capturing website absolutely must have, you know, just to get you started:
1. Killer calls-to-action that drive engagement.
A call-to-action, or CTA, is anything on your website that prompts the user to continue down the conversion funnel. It could be a button, a banner, a graphic or a well-sculpted sentence at the end of a paragraph that compels a potential customer to actually take action.
A clearly displayed toll-free phone number, for example, is the most common call-to-action there is. A prominently displayed quote form is another. The latter, however, is only used by service providers (e.g., moving companies, remodelers). The equivalent for product retailers, like furniture stores and mattress resellers, would be an e-commerce shopping cart icon.
A powerful call-to-action should be clear and concise. It should effortlessly draw people in. It should create a sense of urgency. It should be compelling. The best calls-to-action are irresistible.
However, you don't want to overwhelm your visitors with too many CTAs. The more options people are presented with, the more difficult it can be to make a decision. Simply having a phone number, a quote form and a shopping cart prominently displayed in the same spot on every page is good place to start.
2. A reassuring website design that promotes credibility and trust.
If you're an accredited business with a good reputation, don't ever be afraid to flaunt it.
If you're a BBB-accredited business, showcase your achievement on your homepage. Other awards, accolades, distinctions and customer praise should also be visible throughout your site -- very visible. Displaying your company's accomplishments instantly builds trust and relays credibility -- two essential elements in almost any business relationship.
Pepper pictures of your employees hard at work throughout your website, as well. Showing customers the people behind the business is a great way to bring your company down to earth.
3. Convenient and intuitive responsive design.
Whether you like it or not, your customers are not just viewing your website on a desktop or laptop computer anymore. In fact, more people are surfing the web with their tablets and mobile devices than ever before. If your website isn't optimized for viewership on any-sized screen, you're losing visitors faster than you can say responsive design.
4. Smart, striking landing pages that demand attention.
A landing page is quite literally where someone "lands" after clicking a search result or online ad.
When you create a page that's directed toward a specific segment of your customer base, you drive further interest and engagement -- more than you would if you were to just send them to your home page or another generic page on your site.
Landing pages should have a singular goal, such as prompting a quote request, signing-up for an email, or actually securing a sale. A clear objective will allow you to sculpt a concise headline and an effective call-to-action. It will also focus the viewer's attention, making it easier for them to pull the trigger.
5. Local search data that works.
In addition to having a Google+ account, make sure that your website's "Contact Us" page lists your company's city and state so that Google crawlers can index your business's address. This will put you higher on organic local search results, exposing your products or services to potential customers in your area.